Four Ideas to Help Create an Engaging Announcement Video 

If you’re familiar with North Point Ministries at all, you may have heard of or seen our weekly announcement video—the TenBefore. This video plays in each one of our campuses before the service begins, and its mission is to simply engage and inform. Here’s an example of North Point’s TenBefore from last week:

The TenBefore consists of three segments: a welcome, a middle segment of promos, and an exit.

The welcome segment greets the audience, introduces our mission and strategy, and might have one or two ministry segments. Then we toss to promos. These are separate videos highlighting ministries, events, or resources. The exit usually contains an update on the current message series, some basic info about getting in touch, and a nice recap slide to wrap it all up.

And each of our 6 campuses (including North Point Online, our largest campus), gets a customized TenBefore with unique ministry segments and different promos.

Here are 4 things we have learned that we think may be helpful no matter the size of your church.

1. Communication is essential

Click for a larger viewThis is probably the first thing that comes to mind when I described our TenBefore—How does such a large organization go about making sure each ministry and campus has compelling segments with correct details?  Our experience teaches us that each ministry area will want things a certain way, and it’s your job to produce a piece of media that makes everyone happy. The key here is to begin the communication process early enough to allow plenty of time for back and fourth communication, excellent execution, and ample opportunity to review. We have learned that this process is essential.

To keep everyone on the same page, we use a handy Google Spreadsheet with the plan for each campus that week. This is a great collaborative tool to keep all the ducks in a row.

2. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each week!

If you come up with an epic framework, feel free to use that as your template for a while. We do a complete redesign about once a year just to keep things fresh, but the overall script and feel is pretty consistent. Likewise, launching into the announcement video with the same intro music and graphics package will create a bit of recognition and that we hope will become familiar to the audience, in a good way. That being said, feel free to have a bit of fun when the holidays come around!

It's Christmas In TenBeforeTonVille!

3. Simple & Clear

The TenBefore’s purpose is to inform our audiences in an engaging way. There is certainly room for creativity, but it’s always best to push for clarity over complexity. We’re currently experimenting with simplifying our TenBefore by moving towards a completely voice over driven concept. In the past we’ve shot on green screen and composited, we’ve shot on location many times, and now we’re trying it all VO.  There are many ways to execute it, just make sure the video is doing its job.

Also, the announcement video is the place to introduce and bring awareness to ministries and their events, not the place to unload each and every detail involved. In order to clearly provide next steps, we’ll oftentimes conclude segments by saying “for more information, go to www,” or “see your bulletin for more details.”

4. The process can be messy 

Let’s just take this one in.  As we’ve lived firsthand, your announcement video and the process to produce it will always be evolving.  Communication may break down one week or minds might change last minute another week, but that’s just part of the process, and it’s okay.

What about you? What have you learned about making videos that communicate clearly while engaging your audiences? We invite you to be part of the discussion!

We’d love to see what your church is doing. Post a link to your church’s announcement video in the comment section below!

Comments

  1. This is something I’d like to implement in our church. How far in advance do you find yourselves actually working on these videos–1 week, 2 weeks, more? The example video looks to me like you’d be pulling primarily from already shot footage. For instance, the UpStreet bowling material would have needed to be shot at a previous event. Does that mean you’re primarily pulling from previously produced material and simply repurposing it, or do you find that you’re having to shoot a lot of new footage?

    Thanks for a great starting point for this discussion!

  2. Hey Jared, thanks for your questions.

    The stock answer from initial communication to delivery is about 6-8 weeks, but honestly it greatly varies. That time table includes development, pre-production, production, post, and export.

    As far as b-roll goes, we are able to pull from a repository of footage from past events, but we also shoot regularly to have fresh footage for the next time we might need it for an edit. So yes, we’re often shooting and often using footage from past events (although we try to not use iconic or super recognizable shots in multiple edits).

    Great questions!

  3. Hey, first of all I wanna say thank you for being an example for me how to make media in church. I’m a guy from MOldova who is a PR & Media Manager in a church called DOXA DEO.
    I have a question about the equipment for shooting videos. We have only a camera in the church ( Canon 60 d) and we are shooting promo’s, sermons, basically everything with it. We’re in a process of buying stuff for the media ministry and I don’t what to buy for shooting sermons and promos: should we buy a camera like CAnon 70 d, Mark III or should we buy a professional video camera for filming? Thanks

  4. Here is an example of our video announcements, we have been doing these for less than a year but we have come so far! We are still struggling on how to make things better, more engaging and communicate more of the heart of the event instead of all of the details…

    http://vimeo.com/83508862

  5. Meg,
    Thanks so much for sharing! It’s always great to see what other churches are doing in this area. We are still learning every day how to do it better and better, and the more we can experience what others are doing, the more we can refine as well. Thanks for reading and contributing,

  6. We got into a rhythm of producing these videos last summer when we had some production interns. Want to get volunteers involved in doing these more in the future. Church on the Move’s Seeds website has some great tips and free resources on filming great announcement videos.

  7. Thanks for the note, Dale! Yeah, they do have some awesome insight on their blog. Here’s a cool (although kind of old) blog on their page for you guys shooting on green screen and compositing: https://seeds.churchonthemove.com/blog/post/138

  8. I would first like to say, I love what you guys are doing. The commercial announcements are very engaging, exciting, and informative.

    I am the newly minted Worship and Arts director and over the Media dept. I have a bunch of questions.

    What editing software do you use?
    What software do you use to add graphics?
    What are your tips to get the most aestetically pleasing visuals?

    Thanks!

    God bless

  9. Hey Nia, thanks for the kind words! Congrats and good luck with the new position.

    Just to answer some of your questions, we use the Adobe suite (Creative Cloud) for practically all video editing and graphics. We use Cinema 4D for some 3D work, but mainly stay in the Adobe world. Collaboration between programs is super simple and just works for our setup. That being said, the software we use is just a tool, and you can absolutely make great edits and graphics in comparable programs.

    As for tips on design, be a student of great work. Deconstruct what you think looks good and figure out what’s working and WHY. Find tutorials for techniques and create original, different work while taking in inspiration. Don’t be afraid to fail and to ask questions. There is no magic bullet besides diving in and getting your hands dirty.

  10. I would love to get a look at that Google spreadsheet mentioned in point number 1. I am about to make one, but why reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to? 🙂 If you’re willing to share, please email it to pierce.angela.n@gmail.com. Thanks!

  11. Came across this blog in frustration of trying to make our video announcements a lot better. Just starting out, so I’m currently using iMovie (I know cheesy…lol). I got a lot of great tips and help! Hope to have video announcements that look like yours someday! Thanks!

  12. You guys have developed a great system! I would definitely like to know exactly what software you are currently using to produce the actual video and even some of the other programs that you may use. I am currently the media director at our my church & compared to the work that you guys do, I feel left in the dust… lol. I would certainly appreciate it if you could get some information to me!
    Thanks
    God Bless!

  13. Hey there,

    Thanks for your comment!

    As far as software goes, we primarily use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite…Premiere Pro and After Effects handling all of our editing and motion design work while we use Illustrator and Photoshop for graphic design. All audio post is done in Pro Tools.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!
    Thanks,
    -m

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